Category Archives: Home Buyer Tips

Be A Strategic Buyer in a Tight Inventory Market

It’s easy to put your home search on auto pilot, looking constantly at online search sites for the latest new listing. But if you’re seeking a single-family home in San Francisco, it will become quickly obvious that there’s a low inventory of houses—and you have to do more than just wait for new listings.

Home buyer tip: Don’t bypass existing listings that may be spending more time on the market than their owners would like. These homes could be opportunities for buyers to avoid overbidding and competitive offer situations. If a house has been on the market for 30 days or more, it means that seller will likely not be seeing crazy overbidding and multiple offers. And there may also be room to negotiate a lower price. Continue Reading

Time To Get Your Real Estate Goals Going in 2021

Happy New Year! I am thrilled to be welcoming 2021 after such a challenging 2020.

With a new year comes new goals. I’ve spent the last week planning my business and life goals, and have consulted with about a dozen clients and friends who are planning renovations or estate changes and have a lot of questions about where to start. You may also be cooking up some moves and wondering where to begin. Continue Reading

SF Board of Supervisors Bans Natural Gas in Future New Construction

The future isn’t bright for natural gas in future San Francisco new construction. If you’re dead set on having a gas range in your condo, now is the time to snap up a unit in a building powered by natural gas.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to ban natural gas in new construction buildings, in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation that will affect more than 50,000 homes currently in the development pipeline, reports J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle. Continue Reading

Yes, Neighbors Can Affect Property Values

In a city as dense as San Francisco, it’s important for buyers and sellers to consider the “neighbor factor.”

My clients visited an open house recently that I recommended they see, with a heads up that the property next door was a bit of an issue. The single-family home they saw was well appointed, renovated, and on a lovely block. They loved the floor plan and overall space. The garden was cute and private. They basically liked everything about it—except for the hoarder house next door whose yard looked like the dump. They decided to pass. Continue Reading

Kickstart Your Next Phase of Corona Living in a Floating Home

Kickstart Your Next Phase of Corona Living in a Floating Home

One of only 20 live-aboard floating homes in Mission Creek is available now, and it could be an excellent option to get out of the corona rut.

If you’re tired of being a landlubber working from your flat and you have the cash, 300 Channel Berth 14 may be the ticket to coping with corona times. The boat has three bedrooms and three bathrooms across three levels for a total of 1,780 square feet. The entry level has a loft setup and contiguous outdoor space. There’s an ensuite bedroom on the middle level, and the “penthouse” level features another ensuite bedroom, living spaces and deck. Continue Reading

What You Need To Know About Leased Parking

You start your home search with a parking space as part of your criteria. And then you see the perfect condo, but it has what’s defined as “leased parking.” What’s that all about?

The SF Realtor Association changed the data fields in the MLS a few years ago to include leased parking and its related details in a given listing. Previously, you either had some type of deeded parking, or not. Some agents indicated “1L” in the data field, which resulted in listings showing a parking space that technically wasn’t going to be sold with the unit. So the leased parking fields are a good thing, in my opinion.

When it comes to parking, either you have a space included or not. There are variations on parking that comes with a unit, such as deeded, assigned, tandem or independent style. Continue Reading

Why There Aren’t More Condo “Deals” In San Francisco

Many prospective home buyers and real estate market watchers have been waiting for San Francisco prices to plunge ever since our shelter-in-place went into effect on March 17th. After all, people are reportedly leaving the city in droves, and there’s such a lack of interest in urban dwellings that homeowners will take any price just to get out from under a property that’s steadily falling in value—right?

Wrong. Volume may be down in 2020, but prices certainly aren’t plunging. The single-family home remains the holy grail, very much in demand. And condos are holding steady, especially units in smaller buildings with outdoor space. Continue Reading

What The Heck is HO-6 Condo Insurance?

You might have HOA insurance coverage when buying a condo, but you have to purchase your own “walls-in” coverage during escrow.

Lenders require what’s known as HO-6 insurance. Otherwise known as hazard or individual unit coverage, HO-6 insurance provides personal property and liability coverage for whatever happens within your unit’s walls. Continue Reading

Lenders Ratchet Up Requirements During Corona

Lenders are tightening their loan requirements in light of the corona chaos. Prospective home buyers are flocking to lenders in pursuit of those low interest rates, but lenders are not making it easy to qualify for loans, especially in higher-cost regions like The Bay Area.

It’s not difficult to understand lenders’ concerns amidst job losses and general economic instability. However, if you were preapproved for a loan in pre-corona times, it’s likely your lender has slapped some new requirements on that approval. Continue Reading

5 Tips for A Smooth Home Sale

Corona has slowed the real estate market down, but things can still move quickly when it comes to making an offer on a home. That’s why it’s critical that you and your agent review all the property details before you sign that contract.

The key to making a confident and successful home purchase lies in being prepared and knowledgeable. Here are five tips for being successful in the residential real estate game: Continue Reading

Corona Protocols Critical to SF Real Estate

We seem to be in another corona surge period, with San Francisco treading water when it comes to hospitalizations and rising infection rates. That’s why it’s extremely important for agents and clients to continue following correct property showing protocols when it comes to real estate business.

Listing agents, please make sure you have hand sanitizer and shoe covers in the property if you are allowing showings. It is not particularly encouraging when I bring clients to a property via lockbox, and find a sign requesting that we take our shoes off when there are no shoe covers in sight. And no hand sanitizer. Sticking a lockbox on the house and assuring me that I am scheduled for the showing isn’t convincing me that you’re handling things the proper way. Yes, I bring hand sanitizer with me, but please do your part to assure everyone’s safety.

And please resist the urge to put an A frame outside the property during an appointment timeframe. My clients and I arrive at a home and the anxiety level goes up if we think there’s a possibility random people off the street may be inside. If you have to market yourself, the house sign will be sufficient. Continue Reading

CrimeMapping A Cool Tool for SF Home Buyers

I always advise home buyers to do their due diligence if they’re concerned about crime activity around a property or in a particular neighborhood. Car theft/break-ins, muggings, assaults and burglaries are unfortunately incidents that happen in all areas. But some areas do have higher crime rates than others, and you should be aware of the nature and frequencies of crimes in the area you choose to call home in the future. Continue Reading

What Closing Costs Do Buyers Pay?

Closing costs include the various loan, title and insurance fees that a buyer pays in a transaction.

There is no fixed amount for closing costs, but they generally total one- to two percent of the purchase price. For example, I recently spoke with Karen McDowell at Citibank for her take on things. For a purchase of $1M – $1.5M, Karen typically tells clients to budget $10,000 for closing cost totals, excluding points. And as the purchase price goes up, she increases that total to $15,000. Costs will increase once you hit the $3M threshold; it’s best to pull your escrow officer in to estimate those costs.

Here’s a rundown on the major types of closing costs you’ll see when you buy your home: Continue Reading

Contact Eileen for Real Estate Help

Eileen Bermingham

Corcoran Global Living

415.823.4656

eileen@insidesfre.com

DRE# 01352627

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